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  • Perfect party style

    Make An Entrance

    If there’s one element of the festive season that we look forward to the most, it’s party dressing. And when it comes to mastering cocktail-hour dress codes, we certainly know a thing or two…

    Words by Frankie Graddon
    Photographs by Eva K Salvi

    Now’s the time to reach for after-dark winter textures; think satin, silk and velvet, with touches of pearl and crystal embellishments. Rich jewel tones never fail to look seasonally appropriate and can be effortlessly mixed with neutrals for ease and versatility. Classic doesn’t mean boring; bows, love hearts and stars introduce a fun, festive flair that will never date. And don’t forget those extra-special transformers that breathe new life into your existing occasion-wear wardrobe. Laura and Petro have handpicked the perfect party-ready pieces in which to make an entrance this year – and for many more to come.

    THE WINTER MINI

     

    “Every party wardrobe needs a great LBD and I was drawn to the perfect proportions of ROTATE Birger Christensen’s satin version. Chic puffed sleeves balance the shorter length, while the bejewelled belt nips you in at the waist and adds festive sparkle.”

     

     

     

    THE EVENING SANDAL

     

    “The perfect pair of party shoes should combine wow-factor with comfort, and these do just that. The chunky heel facilitates all-night dancing, while the pearl-trimmed straps deliver on evening glamour. I’d pair them with tights in winter and a fresh pedi for summer events.”

    THE VELVET MIDI

     

    “When it comes to festive dressing, rich red tones and sumptuous velvet are a perennially stylish pairing. The cut of Beulah London’s midi is universally flattering, with a nipped-in waist and statement sleeves that add drama without bulk. Team with an unexpected shoe – such as a silver heel – for a modern twist.” 

    THE CRYSTAL CLUTCH

     

    “I rely on Prada for statement pieces that have timeless appeal, and this clutch bag is no exception. It will be the talking point of my party wardrobe for several years to come.” 

    THE PYJAMA SUIT

     

    “I naturally gravitate towards pyjama dressing when I’m hosting at home – it’s an effortless take on evening glamour. This chocolate-brown shade is winter-ready and pairs beautifully with bold colours, such as the deep raspberry of Mehry Mu’s signature box bag.”

    THE SATIN COURT

     

    “After red, I consider emerald green the most versatile bold shade, as it works with other brights as well as neutrals. Perfectly festive and with a walkable heel height, I’ll be able to wear these timeless courts on many occasions.”

     

    THE STATEMENT HOOPS

     

    “A great pair of earrings will pay style dividends as they elevate a simple outfit into something truly special. These hoops, from one of our favourite jewellery designers – and Future ICON – Katerina Psoma, render luxury basics evening appropriate.” 

    THE DAY-TO-NIGHT SEPARATES 

     

    “A black cashmere polo neck is as much a part of my winter occasion closest as a statement dress. The ultimate base layer, it partners perfectly with cocktail skirts, such as Joseph’s sparkle midi. Just add classic boots for a chic office-to-evening outfit.” 

    THE LAMÉ DRESS

     

    “I fell in love with this dress as soon as I saw it; the shimmering gold fabric will bring a smile to my face every time I see it in the wardrobe. When doing shorter lengths, the key is to keep proportions in check with long sleeves and a covered top half.” 

    THE VELVET PLATFORM

     

    “Every woman should have a pair of evening-ready platform sandals in their party-wear collection. A plain style will prove ultra versatile; wear them with hemlines of every length, team with tailoring or pair with palazzo trousers. I have worn mine endlessly.”

    THE AFTER-DARK TROUSER SUIT

     

    “A velvet trouser suit makes for an elegant alternative to evening gowns and can be dressed up or down to suit any dress code. I love the rich bottle-green hue and satin detailing of Hebe Studio’s two-piece, which also has a beautifully cut jacket and flattering flared trousers.”

    THE DANCE-ALL-NIGHT HEELS

     

    “A great pair of platforms are my party-season shoe go-to; not only do they elongate legs and add height, they’re the most comfortable way to do heels. These, from Jigsaw, also come in a blue and yellow colourway.” 

    THE BOW-DETAILED DRESS

     

    “I’m a diehard bow-lover, so this Saloni dress has serious hanger appeal for me. The diamanté detailing provides sophisticated sparkle against a midnight-velvet backdrop, while the classic silhouette is easy to wear and will never feel dated.”

    THE BEADED EVENING BAG

     

    “I like to look to the high street for smart-priced transformers to add to my party-wear wardrobe and have always found the evening-bag offering particularly strong. This beaded number from Mango comes with a chic velvet strap and looks far more premium that its price tag.” 

    THE TWIST ON A COCKTAIL RING

     

    “The devil is in the detail, and statement rings are a great way to elevate your party look. Eschew traditional jewelled styles for sleek golden versions from Future ICONS brand Aname. While Laura is wearing her initials, I’ve picked the birthdates of my children from the new numbers collection.” 

    THE CHECKED JACKET

     

    “Working seamlessly with nearly everything in your wardrobe, the classic checked jacket is a seasonal essential and, when realised in deep wine tones, is suitably festive to boot. This smart-priced version is made from good-quality wool and can be re-spun with a white shirt for post-Christmas wear, too.”

    THE TAILORED TWO-PIECE

     

    “On occasions when I don’t feel like wearing a dress, I reach for a sharp trouser suit to give me evening polish. Tailored pieces from Racil are my go-to and are cut to flatter a woman’s figure. I love the ankle-grazing length and high waistband of these trousers, while the jacket’s belt gives a chic, cinched silhouette.” 

    THE DAZZLING DROP EARRINGS

     

    “To add a little sparkle to my party look, I love to wear a pair of dazzling cocktail earrings and have fallen head over heels for these crystal bow clip-ons. The delicate drops are perfect for catching candlelight.”

    THE PRINTED MAXI

     

    “Everyone knows Racil does great tailoring, but what you might have missed is that she also does beautiful dresses. I fell in love with this heart-print number when Maria Kastani wore it in our ICONS shoot, and had to have it. The maxi length offers after-dark drama, while the loose silhouette means plenty of room for Christmas indulging.”

    THE LOVE-HEART BAG

     

    “The finishing touch to any party outfit is a fabulous evening bag. Lulu Guinness’s iconic love-heart bag offers plenty of festive fun while being a timeless addition to your transformer collection. Wear it as a clutch or use the chain strap to drape it over your shoulder.”

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